Japan Cup 2021 at Tokyo

We are having to watch this from afar again this year.

Broome running in the Investec Derby Stakes (Group 1)
Broome running in the Investec Derby Stakes (Group 1) Picture: Pat Healy Photography

This is very hard as there are several factors that could make this cup especially exciting.

One is that it is the last race for Contrail, the Triple Crown winner in 2020. He's an odds-on favourite here but he hasn't won this year.  He came close with a second place in the Tenno Sho (Autumn).  He was second in this race last year. His trainer Yahagi-sensei is having a great year and jockey Fukunaga knows him well.

Sharyar is on 4.5.  He's the Derby winner for this year and the 3yo Deep Impact colt is on a rating of 120.  He's not fond of heavy ground but since the forecast is good for Sunday it should suit.

Authority is on 8.6 and he's a 4yo colt by Orfevre with Christophe Lemaire riding.  This year he has won three times at G2 level.

One horse we have always liked is Aristoteles, a 4yo colt by Epiphaneia.  He was 2nd to Contrail in the St Leger last year and has won at G2 level over 2,200m.  We think he's  good each way value on 20.7.  He will be ridden by young Takeshi Yokoyama

Uberleben is a 3yo filly by Gold Ship and was the winner of the Oaks this year.  She gets a very nice weight advantage here and this often helps as the horses tackle the hill from the turn up to the 200m pole.  Mirco Demuro has the ride and they are on 21.3

There are 3 overseas runners this year – Broome and the appropriately named Japan come from Aidan O'Brien's yard and one of their owners is Japanese.  Grand Glory is trained in France by Gianluca Bietolini and will be ridden by Cristian Demuro so there could be a bit of a side race going on here between the Demuro brothers!  Grand Glory has drawn barrier 6 and is on 37.8.  All his races this year have been over 2000m so the extra 400m could be tough.

Broome and Japan have come from the US where they were 2nd and 4th in the Breeders' Cup Turf.  Broome won the Grand Prix de Saint Cloud and was 4th in the King George.  Ryan Moore will ride.  They are on 27.6 and worth a modest e/w.

Japan has drawn the carpark which isn't ideal for a horse who has done most of his recent racing on tight American tracks.  Yutaka Take rides and they are on 36.9.

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